BOOK XVIII. CONTAINING ABOUT SIX DAYS.
11. Chapter xi. The history draws nearer to a conclusion.
The history draws nearer to a conclusion.
When Mr Western was departed, Jones began to inform Mr Allworthy and
Mrs Miller that his liberty had been procured by two noble lords, who,
together with two surgeons and a friend of Mr Nightingale's, had
attended the magistrate by whom he had been committed, and by whom, on
the surgeons' oaths, that the wounded person was out of all manner of
danger from his wound, he was discharged.
One only of these lords, he said, he had ever seen before, and that no
more than once; but the other had greatly surprized him by asking his
pardon for an offence he had been guilty of towards him, occasioned,
he said, entirely by his ignorance who he was.
Now the reality of the case, with which Jones was not acquainted till
afterwards, was this:--The lieutenant whom Lord Fellamar had employed,
according to the advice of Lady Bellaston, to press Jones as a
vagabond into the sea-service, when he came to report to his lordship
the event which we have before seen, spoke very favourably of the
behaviour of Mr Jones on all accounts, and strongly assured that lord
that he must have mistaken the person, for that Jones was certainly a
gentleman; insomuch that his lordship, who was strictly a man of
honour, and would by no means have been guilty of an action which the
world in general would have condemned, began to be much concerned for
the advice which he had taken.
Within a day or two after this, Lord Fellamar happened to dine with
the Irish peer, who, in a conversation upon the duel, acquainted his
company with the character of Fitzpatrick; to which, indeed, he did
not do strict justice, especially in what related to his lady. He said
she was the most innocent, the most injured woman alive, and that from
compassion alone he had undertaken her cause. He then declared an
intention of going the next morning to Fitzpatrick's lodgings, in
order to prevail with him, if possible, to consent to a separation
from his wife, who, the peer said, was in apprehensions for her life,
if she should ever return to be under the power of her husband. Lord
Fellamar agreed to go with him, that he might satisfy himself more
concerning Jones and the circumstances of the duel; for he was by no
means easy concerning the part he had acted. The moment his lordship
gave a hint of his readiness to assist in the delivery of the lady, it
was eagerly embraced by the other nobleman, who depended much on the
authority of Lord Fellamar, as he thought it would greatly contribute
to awe Fitzpatrick into a compliance; and perhaps he was in the right;
for the poor Irishman no sooner saw these noble peers had undertaken
the cause of his wife than he submitted, and articles of separation
were soon drawn up and signed between the parties.